The internal market and national security: transposition, impact and reform of the EU Directive on Intra-Community Transfers of Defence Products

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Whilst the Internal Market has been operational for decades, the free movement of defence products within the EU has been restricted by national licensing practices. Member States have treated “intra-EU” transfers as equivalent to third country exports. The Intra-Community Transfers Directive (ICT) introduced a harmonized transfer regime. This article provides a first legal analysis and a case study of the challenges facing harmonization where an evolving Internal Market competence meets a diversity of national security and other interests. The ICT constitutes a significant first step towards reducing barriers to trade, but an ambivalent approach to minimum harmonization has impacted its effectiveness; legal reform is required to further this objective.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-442
JournalCommon Market Law Review
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017